Parents of children with autism face challenges getting services - Atlanta News, Weather, Traffic, and Sports | FOX 5

Parents of children with autism face challenges getting services

Posted: Updated:
NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Since Avonte Oquendo's tragic disappearance last fall in Queens, several more children with autism have gone missing in the city. So what do parents have to do to keep their kids safe in school and how do they go about it? If parents want an aide, also called a para-professional, it can be a difficult process. Some say it's a battle.

Lynn Decker has two teenage boys with autism. Neither son is able to speak. Lynn has been through the public school meetings to get an aide for her son at one point. And other services for her children. She says each and every time felt like a fight.

Autism advocacy groups say this is a fairly typical experience for parents.

Nancy Reavis says she asked for an aide for her 14-year-old son, Elicio, and was told she would have to wait. Elicio, who can barely speak, wandered off from school Friday. He was finally found Monday. Now he has an aide assigned to him.

Attorney Gary Mayerson is a civil rights lawyer specializing in autism. He says parents are legally entitled to special services for their children with autism. The family does have to meet certain criteria if they request an aide. The child either has to have a history or likelihood of wandering or is likely to hurt themselves, hurt others, or needs assistance assimilating in to a mainstream classroom.

But parents don't always get what they ask for.

Mayerson says many issues come down to money, and this is one of them.

Lisa Goring is with the global advocacy organization Autism Speaks. She says it's important to have the data to support what your child needs.

If parents are denied an aide for their child, they have to hire an attorney or an advocate to fight the battle. If they can't afford an attorney, they're out of luck.

In New York City, the Department of Education says it does not withhold aides or other services to try and save money and that "our priority is to ensure the safety and security of all students."

Mayerson says that parents should never give up. If you're denied an aide for your child, keep asking. he also says The New York City school system is doing a decent job of preventing children with autism from wandering.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Lawyer says family of girl with Uzi is devastated

    Lawyer says family of girl with Uzi is devastated

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 10:00 PM EDT2014-09-03 02:00:24 GMT
    An attorney for the parents of a 9-year-old girl who accidentally killed an Arizona shooting range instructor with an Uzi say the family is devastated by the tragedy that occurred on a brief excursion during a...
    An attorney for the parents of a 9-year-old girl who accidentally killed an Arizona shooting range instructor with an Uzi say the family is devastated by the tragedy that occurred on a brief excursion during a vacation.
  • Deadly crash in Lincoln Tunnel

    Deadly crash in Lincoln Tunnel

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 8:15 PM EDT2014-09-03 00:15:54 GMT

    Officials say a New Jersey man has died from injuries he suffered in a chain-reaction crash inside one of the tubes of the Lincoln Tunnel.  Port Authority of New York and New Jersey police spokesman Joe Pentangelo says the 49-year-old Summit resident was among three people hurt in the accident.


    Officials say a New Jersey man has died from injuries he suffered in a chain-reaction crash inside one of the tubes of the Lincoln Tunnel.  Port Authority of New York and New Jersey police spokesman Joe Pentangelo says the 49-year-old Summit resident was among three people hurt in the accident.



  • CEO resigns Conn. company over dog abuse

    CEO resigns Conn. company over dog abuse

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 7:05 PM EDT2014-09-02 23:05:35 GMT
    Sports catering business Centerplate has announced that its chief executive has resigned following widespread criticism over images from an elevator security camera showing he kicked a friend's dog and pulled...
    Sports catering business Centerplate has announced that its chief executive has resigned following widespread criticism over images from an elevator security camera showing he kicked a friend's dog and pulled hard on...
Powered by WorldNow

1551 Briarcliff Rd., NE
Atlanta, GA 30306

Main Number: (404) 875-5555
News Tips: (404) 898-0100

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices